E.T. The Extraterrestrial – BEST GAME EVER!!!111!!!


Welcome to the GameShampoo review of the Atari 2600 game, “E.T. - The Extraterrestrial.” This amazing gem of Gaming history was released in North America in December of 1982. The entire game was made in 5.5 weeks by Howard Scott Warshaw. Warshaw had earlier made “Yars' Revenge” and “The Raiders of the Lost Ark.” He was also, reportedly, hand-picked by Steven Spielberg to make this game. While there was plenty of debate on the game itself, it was slated to be a something of a Pac-Man clone. Instead we got an open-world adventure.


This game was made in approximately 5.5 weeks. It was hard set from the beginning to have a release during the holidays of 1982. Warshaw began the development with a week of simply brainstorming. He looked at the game in 4 segments: World, Objective, Path and Obstacles. From the beginning he was this game with the Goal of E.T. calling home. This took the form of E.T. needing to assemble the phone. Next was the need to have someone in the game to act as an antagonist. This is where the FBI and the Scientists came in, to act as obstacles. To help ensure there was some pressure on the player, a time limit (in the form of “bonus points”) was implemented. To help expand the world, and give the phone pieces a place to hide, the Pits were added into the game.


This amazing game is the Dark Souls of movie to game adaptations (on difficulty setting 1). This is a challenging game with pits, Scientists and FBI Agents. E.T. will need to search the world to find the 3 pieces of the Interplanetary phone. There are also Reese's Pieces that can be found throughout the world. These can be eaten in particular locations to restore energy. You can stock up to 9+ Reese's Pieces, find a place to call Elliot and get a missing piece of the telephone. Watch that number in the middle bottom of the screen, those are your Life points, your timer. And the Pits, the glorious pits. Worship the Pits. The Pits hold the Phone Pieces. If you can find a flower in one, this will give you an extra life! The Scientists will bring E.T. back to their base. The FBI agents will take a Phone Piece and all of E.T.'s Reese's Pieces! Blasphemers!


When you fall into a Pit, they are not too bad to escape. Look for the Upward arrow with the line under it. Press the Red Button and E.T. will extend its neck. Press upwards and E.T. will levitate out of the Pit. Release Up as you reach the top and tap it carefully while still holding the Red button to safely emerge from the pit and still have some levitation to escape the Pit's area.


As you move around the world across its 6 screens, you will find the icon on the top of the screen will change. It could be an arrow, or 1 of a number of icons. When it is blank, pressing the button on the controller will cause E.T. to run. When an arrow is displayed, then pressing the red button on the controller will Teleport E.T. 1 screen in that direction. When you see a “?” (Question Mark), the button will reveal any on screen telephone parts with a blinking yellow light on the pit. There can be multiple phone parts on the same screen. When you see a large circle with a dot in it, you can eat some of the Reese's Pieces you have to restore time. There is also the “E” with the 3 lines from it. Here, you can call Elliot to scare away the FBI or Scientist, and possibly get a phone piece if you have 9 or more Reese's Pieces. If you see the roman numeral 3: III, you are in a “Send Back Zone.” This will return the FBI agent and the Scientist to their home base. Finally, there is the Flying Saucer. This location lets you interact and make the call, starting the timer to for the communicator to reach the Mother Ship. Finally, you need to find the Square with the Cross in the Center. This is where the Mother Ship will land and E.T. can get home.


Finally, in this modern era there are a number of fan made patches to “improve” the game. This does involving going into the programming and directly applying new code to sections. This can make it so the Pits are more well defined and do not just pull in E.T.. No one needs that. Just experience the game in all its original glory. 10/10, find it, play it, love it!

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